Springbok coach Peter de Villiers’s contract was in the balance until a few hours before Friday’s Saru AGM, according to a newspaper report.
News 24 reports that Afrikaans newspaper Sondag claimed that a last minute refusal to sign the constitutional changes in South Africa’s rugby constitution almost scuppered the Springbok coach’s contract.
De Villiers wanted a clause changed that would give him sole control over team selections and it seemed it was a done deal before the election. But the Sharks refused to sign the change that would allow De Villiers to finalise his contract until a constitutional change which they had suggested was allowed to also proceed.
This was eventually resolved after late night meetings on Thursday, allowing Saru to complete the constitutional changes at their Annual General Meeting on Friday.
The Sharks were concerned that a decision taken by the national body – whereby Unions hosting Test matches could play them outside their geographical borders at bigger stadiums – could hurt them in the long run. The Absa Stadium in Durban is next door to the new soccer stadium currently being constructed for the 2010 World Cup and thus the Sharks wanted a constitutional change which ensured unions could only play Tests at Saru affiliated stadiums.
Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl confirmed to Sondag that they had opposed the constitutional changes. “We did oppose them, because the Stadium is a big threat to us,” Van Zyl told the newspaper.
“When we proposed the change, we were told it couldn’t be accepted as it was too close to the AGM. We then heard they would accept the change to the clause which concerned Peter’s contract and we felt it was unfair, as we had already been told no. It was a matter of principle, nothing more.”
De Villiers is expected to sign his contract within daysTweet